Renowned as one of the “14 wonders of New Zealand”, The Karangahake Gorge showcases some of New Zealand's best scenery, rich in pioneering history.
Situated off State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi, the railway line within The Karangahake Gorge was closed in 1979, allowing visitors to access the historical sites associated with gold mining.
In the early 1900s the townships of Karangahake, Owharoa and Waikino were important mining centres with large batteries to crush and treat gold-bearing quartz from local mines. As you walk or cycle through this scenic gorge you can feel the past all around you, with gold mining relics still scattered along the trail.
The Karangahake Gorge Historical Walkway follows the Ohinemuri River as it tumbles over rocks and boulders through the steep-sided Karangahake Gorge. Gold mining relics and the natural beauty of the landscape make this a very memorable walk. The walkway crosses three bridges and includes a two kilometre loop section that offers the chance to walk through an 1100 metre tunnel.
The Karangahake Gorge historic Walkway is seven kilometres long and takes about two hours one way. Allow 45 minutes for the loop section. The Crown Tramway Track and Windows Walk lead off the walkway.
The 82km trail showcases some of the best scenery, and is one of the easiest cycle trails in New Zealand. Accessible from Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi/ Waikino and the Karangahake Gorge the Hauraki Rail trail is an easy grade one family friendly ride.
The visitor information centre at Waikino, which is housed in an old railway station, can provide you with a guide to the walks and the Hauraki Rail Trail.